gPhone Spotted in the Wild!

T-Mobile is not rolling out a new 3g network in the Charlotte area any time soon that I know of having just completed the purchase of Suncom and still winding that into the company through the end of the year.

utterli-image
Yesterday, I teased some decently photos of the gPhone spotted out in the wild, and today I deliver. The official release date of the Android-powered T-Mobile Dream is the 23 of this month (a day quickly approaching - http://mashable.com/…ember-23/).

One of my super secret spies at Google just happened to trade contact information with someone who admitted that the phone in his hand was the fabled Dream.

Most of the details of the plans and specs are publicly available in various spots around the blogosphere, as are some leaked photos, but it would appear that there are a few of these roaming the wild and in regular use, as the fellow in question appeared to be his primary phone.

On the larger image, zooming in shows a bit of a peak at the interface, but from what I can tell it isn't significantly different from screenshots I've seen elsewhere.

Who's excited to grab one of these? At a price point fabled to be under $200, I know I am.

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That said, I think I am going to be in the market for Google's phone. Seems a lot more practical than an LCD HDTV or something, and compared to the iPhone it at least has a real keyboard!

Ergonomically Incorrect But Sexy

People will do weird things to look sexy.  They will wear uncomfortable clothing, shoes and more.  They'll go through strange procedures and act un-natural.  For years I spent a great deal of time training people on good ergonomics and posture.

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Today, I received some stray email for BitDefender that must defend my computer from stray bits  . . .  or pieces.

I really could care less, but I did notice their ad image that accompanied their offer for two reasons, but before I mention the reasons I should mention that I am a male and I do take notice of attractive women.

That Caveate Aside, I noticed that

  1. This is really bad ergonomic posture
  2. If there were no computer involved this would be a sexy picture

As an ergonomic trainer, the image actually turned me off the product, and that made me pause.  The conventional wisdom in marketing (for right or for wrong) is that using attractive models in images with products can help sell products.

But in this case, the image despite conventional wisdom does the opposite.  The pose is just too unnatural.  Not in a Cirque de Solei contortionist moving pianos into moving trucks while standing on their hands bent backwards and in half with the piano balanced on their toes unnatural, but just from a reality test kind of way.

I can't imagine ever seeing someone sitting on their knees on a tile floor typing on a laptop.  So from that perspective, I suspect that this image and campaign might not go anywhere so you better watch out for those flying bits and pieces.

Candidates as Agents of Technological Change or Maybe Obstacles

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This afternoon I wanted to share an excerpt from a conversation that is still evolving over at Utterz about John McCain, his war injuries and either his inability or unwillingness to embrace technological solutions for productivity, like email and voice recognition.

The conversation unwinds with the titles below as JFMunger on Utterz mentions (War Injuries Prevent McCain from Typing/Internet)  that people should not pick on McCain for not using email.

The Reason:  McCain's war injuries prevent him from typing.

I personally don't buy that excuse.  John McCain is an American, I'm an American and us Americans don't let things limit us.  If we face an obstacle we work to overcome it so that we can advance.  That is doubly true when it comes to using technology to help us get past an obstacle.

Which prompted me to write the response, "Someone Give That Man a VR Crackberry!"

imageSo here is the thing, maybe McCain has not heard of voice recognition software like Dragon Naturally Speaking.  Maybe he doesn't know that you don't have to type with your fingers.  Maybe he doesn't realize that VR can help you to type at 150 words per minute.  That's all fine, but its not fine to sit back and use the same excuse for a few decades.  Its not fine for the people and friends around him not to point out that there are solutions that can enable him to lead a more productive and full life. 

We're not talking about a person reluctant to don a Halloween costume and head to a party, we're talking about a person that chooses every day to be less connected to the people around him and to inefficiently hire people to read, interpret, and respond to his personal communications.

He needs to do this not only to be more efficient and effective but to be more in touch. 

Original Conversation Series

  1. War Injuries Prevent McCain from Typing/Internet
  2. War Injuries Prevent McCain from Typing/Internet
  3. War Injuries Prevent McCain from Typing/Internet
  4. Someone Give That Man a VR Crackberry!

War Injuries Prevent McCain from Typing/Internet

This is the initial commentary that kicked off the conversation at Utterz and the insight into what might make John McCain a better candidate and more productive American.
Barak Obama criticizes John McCain because he does not use email. Really cheap -- and stupid--- shot. War injuries prevent McCain not only from typing on a keyboard, but also tying his own shoes or combing his hair. See the Boston Globe article by Mary Leonard on March 4, 2000. Move on, to something real, Barak, and quit embarrassing yourself.

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Note its not like we are asking John McCain to go out and get a job or something in this conversation. We're talking about a person that does not utilize one of the most popular forms of communication in the world today, possibly even more popular than the telephone. Email is not that difficult, it should not be that intimidating and its not like we are talking about weight loss pills, viagra, or some chemical fix for an ailment. We're simply talking about not utilizing people as buffers of communication for a person that might take control of the most powerful country in the world.

War Injuries Prevent McCain from Typing/Internet

There are many voice recognition softwares. Also what are the 100's of assistants good for if they can't read him his email?

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It was this response by AlwayaAMama at Utterz that helped to give me the insight that John McCain may be stalling stubbornly with an excuse as opposed to embracing technologies that could benefit him, his campaign and the country. Not to mention if he were to overcome yet another one of life's challenges it would be a hell of a story for the campaign. Its not like John McCain is trying to get some sort of settlement through a South Carolina injury lawyer so that hey can hang out and drink beer in front of the TV for the rest of his days. Obviously, that is not the type of guy John McCain is, but somewhere between the hero that held out against his Vietnamese tortures and the man that refuses to use a productivity increasing communications tool like email, we find the candidate that might run the country in a few months.

War Injuries Prevent McCain from Typing/Internet

You do not need fingers to read/type email.

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Someone Give That Man a VR Crackberry!

Very true, I use Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 myself and it is amazing.

I think the wider point here, is that McCain is demonstrating an inability to adapt to new times and new technologies.

America did not work its way forward in the world by resting on our laurels and using the same old technology over and over again. If we were, my great grandfather would have taught me how to plow a line with a jackass and brass plow. In fact, not even my great grandfather was so limited as to not adapt to new technologies.

We have people losing jobs as new technologies and cheaper labor replace them. For those people to have a chance at making a living, taking care of their families, and keeping their self respect high and moving forward with all other Americans they have to find their way with new technology and productivity tools.

I'm 35 and I've had 7 careers already. I've designed my way out of jobs to get promoted, creating solutions that automated my own job into oblivion. I didn't do that out of a protectionistic sense of trying to keep the buggy whip industry afloat with government bailouts. I did that because that is exactly what Americans do.

We find better, faster, cheaper ways to achieve our goals no matter what the obstacle, no matter what our disability or impediment.

We are a land of underdogs and over achievers.

McCain has a number of qualities that I like, but this is not one of them. He needs to see the technological light and he needs to do it this month.

He showed extremely savvy political leadership by exploiting Barack Obama's weakness in judgment. McCain picked a woman for the ticket when Obama regressed and picked a safe old white guy (that I like by the way).

McCain showed that he's not some tired old dude that doesn't get it, and he showed that he still has a lot of potential as a leader. But good leaders adapt to the entire changing landscape.

Exploiting a political weakness of an opponent, might win you the battle, but adapting to changes in technology and exploiting those new technologies with savvy, that will win you the war and in this case, will keep America progressing as opposed to stagnating.

So will someone please stand up from John McCain's computer, sit that old dude down and get him to work taking care of his own email?

Give him a crackberry with voice recognition capabilities too while your at it.

ATTENTION MCCAIN CAMPAIGN

Any McCain PR people out there, call me! I've got a Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 preferred promotional products license that I'll donate today and McCain can get to work typing his own emails at 150 words a minute.

I'm not offering that up to help McCain win, but to help one more American (and fellow veteran) take a positive step forward towards independence for himself and all of us. We Americans can't afford to waste resources having someone else type our own emails.

My Name is Brett Bumeter and I typed this message myself. . . .

You can see some of my reviews on Dragon Naturally Speaking at

http://softduit.com/…peaking-9/
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Can You Really Mod a Prius to Improve Mileage?

That is the question I asked myself when I saw this video Thunder's Prius EV mod install guide and commentary.  This 15 minute video tutorial walks you through the process of mounting a Toyota Prius.

JuicedHybird.com

This step-by-step tutorial looks like something that your average person could probably do, but would your average person actually do it?

The actual device featured in the video cost somewhere between $70 and $90.  That's not a lot of money if you're trying to save big bucks at the pump.

Add to that cost, 15 to 20 minutes worth of work on your car, and it doesn't seem like a big deal. That is of course if you don't electrocute yourself first, void your warranty on the car, or somehow managed to short out and kill your car altogether.

That said, next to driving cars, working on cars and making them run better than they do off the factory floor is probably just as American as apple pie and drag racing.

This particular device is supposed to allow you to switch your car into electric only mode, which is supposed to increase the efficiency of a vehicle.  It's also supposed to be a common feature on the Toyota Prius when it is not sold in America .

That's right, this is one of those deals where the rest the world gets the benefit from a technology, plus Americans have to suck it up and deal with some governor like device it doesn't slow the car down,it does decrease its efficiency. 

So after you install this device, you're supposed to basically get the same benefit that people around the world get when they drive same car.

Toyota Prius EV Mode Features

  • Easy Installation - In a few minutes this OEM option replication will activate the electric only feature from Toyota to drive for short distances such as around town or in parking lots to save fuel.
  • Fuel Efficiency - By limiting the use of the gas motor your Prius will have improved MPG.
  • Performance - Operating the electric motor at low speeds you will notice a bit more torque under acceleration.
  • Environmentally Friendly - No gas engine means better for the environment while EVMODE is engaged.
  • Step By Step Instructions - The EV Mode kit is designed for ease of installation and includes the step by step instructions. No cutting of wires.
  • Runs Seamlessly - The electric only feature can be turned on and used up to a speed of around 34 mph at which time it will automatically turn off and the car will operate as usual. Quickly and easily activate and/or turn off the electric mode when desired.
  • Maintained battery Life - Battery is prevented from going below 3 Bars by Toyota software in the Prius.
  • Engine automatically restarts when the battery needs to be recharged or if you need to accelerate quickly
  • EVMODE will improve your fuel economy. Results will vary based on driving conditions, geography and how aggressive you drive.

 

I have to admit, I do not fully understand the caveat that states "up to 34 mph with increased efficiency"

I do not know if that means that this will help your car run in only electric mode up until it hits 34 mph and then it switches into engine moderare burning fossil fuels,or to mean something else.

Plus I don't fully understand how this is different than what the car does by itself.That said I am very curious as to how many people might actually be making these types of adjustments to their car.My brother has installed new chipsin his own cars in the past as he's worked on a troublesome Camero dozens of years ago.  Even my father, a very gifted mechanic, was looking at a couple of different devices that would and enable a person to reprogram the chip in their cars so that their car could burn gas more efficiently.Something akin to acarburetor tuneup in the old days I suppose.

In all truth, this doesn't look any more difficult than installing the power wire for the car stereo.  But our society is increasingly moving towards more and more specialization to the point that your average person doesn't seem to work on cars very much these days.

So what do you think, could you envision yourself paying $70 for little device that helps you save some gas at the pump?  Would you trust yourself to install this?  Or would you even trust a mechanic to install this if you paid for the part?

The days when people only had to worry about developing a lead foot are long past.  These days we are more likely to develop Plantar Fasciitis of the foot while sitting at a red light waiting for traffic, but that wait can burn a lot of gas, even in a prius without this type of mod.

Large Hadron Collider Inspires Death Threats Against Scientist from People Fearing World Ending Black Hole Creation

Imagine someone flips a switch, and within seconds or minutes planet Earth is consumed and swallowed into a black hole. Sound like something straight out of science fiction or a B movie.  Well it's that scenario that is prompting a number of people to send death threats to scientists are preparing to flip the switch and turn on a large Hadron collider.

This supercollider or particle accelerator, will be the world's largest, and some people feel that when launched a could trigger a worldwide cataclysm including the creation of a black hole that could destroy the planet.  The collider will be 27 km in diameter and scientists hope to unlock a few new mysteries of the universe with this massive tool.

However, despite its great promise, many people worldwide have protested the construction of the particle accelerator, believing it could end the world.  Many are fearful that the collider could spawn black holes, which they worry could devour the Earth.  The creators of the LHC, some of the world's foremost scientists, say such concerns are unfounded and convey a lack of understanding about the project.
According to Professor Brian Cox of Manchester University, the public animosity is so severe that American Nobel prize winning physicist Frank Wilczek of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has received death threats.  Professor Cox, typically sedate, adds irritatingly, "Anyone who thinks the LHC will destroy the world is a t---. "

DailyTech - Large Hadron Collider to Go Online This Week Despite Death Threats

so this kind of raises the question, who is it that has oversight over scientists. Who is it that knows enough and has enough wisdom and given situation to confirm whether or not a scientific experiments could actually cause irreparable or life-threatening damage to planet Earth?

Unfortunately, anyone with half a brain knows that the human condition creates people even scientists, that do not always act in a way that is beneficial for the planet, for other people, or sometimes even for themselves.

I personally do not have enough information about this collider one way or another to know if it's a threat or not. From what I know about chemistry and physics, I suspect that it is not terribly threatening. That said, I have had a great deal of experience with Murphy's Law, and I know that things do go wrong and sometimes unexpected results to occur even with the most tried and tested tools. So who is to say that this particular tool might work as it is expected to work, or might fail miserably, or may even fail spectacularly.

When a developing country such as Iran attempts to create scientific experiments to help build up its own nuclear technologies, many people in Europe and the West turn a critical and harsh it to that endeavor. We do so often times because we do not trust the people controlling the tool. But we seem to turn a blind eye to ourselves when we do even your experiments with even less knowledge than a country like I ran that is simply following in the footsteps of many other countries.

We are breaking new ground, and don't really know where we will end up. We have hypotheses, but that doesn't always mean much, sometimes those hypocrisies can fail miserably and people will suffer the consequences, and sometimes those hypocrisies can fail and we can actually end up succeeding in strange and twisted ways, just ask just Christopher Columbus.

I don't know where this one's going, and I'm hoping for the best. That said, you might want to take pause next week is the flip is about to be switched on and consider your place in the universe. I'm not saying anyone's going to die or the plants going to implode or disappear, but it can't hurt for us to reflect on where we are today, and where we are going tomorrow before a few scientists handle some pool floats and throw us into the ocean of the universe.

Mythbusters Censored by Credit Card Companies

utterz-image

The above screencap comes from an Engadget.com post which you can find here: http://www.engadget.com/…company-l/ and it reports on Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage's admission that the Discovery Channel caved under pressure from the credit card companies not to air an episode profiling the extreme hackability of RFID chips that are now appearing in credit cards.



The story originally comes from a video posted on Wired.com here: http://blog.wired.com/…ch-my.html which was previously posted on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch



So, now the truth is effectively been banned. This kind of thing pisses me off to no end--as the Engadget post points out, rather than spend money on finding a more secure solution to RFID's problems, these companies would rather spend money on lawyers to stop people from talking about RFID's problems.



In other words, rather than keeping our money safe, they'd rather be able to advertise the latest bell and whistle to get more customers.



This is why I don't have a credit card. This is why I wish I could function without a bank account--because banks aren't keeping my money secure. Remember that company that made a bunch of electronic balloting machines that were super easy to hack? They used to be called "Diebold" and guess what other kind of machine they make: Automated Teller Machines. Yep, the company that couldn't prove they could count our votes we're trusting to count our money.



Meanwhile, banks think RFID is the wave of the future. However, it's anything but. While the credit card companies won't let Discovery Channel show that Mythbusters episode (or let them even MAKE the episode), Engadget.com previously posted a video that details how easy it is to hack RFID. I reposted it here: http://thepete.com/…vulnerable



I'm all for technology (DUH!), but anyone who thinks that technology can be trusted not to fail hasn't used technology enough to know what they're talking about.

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